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    Written by: Peter Pinne   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Peter Andrikidis

Mike opens the front door of the O'Brien house and walks into the hallway, looking pensive. Heather joins him and remarks that she didn't hear him pull up. Mike explains that he caught a cab; he left the car where it belongs: with the company; he's out. Heather, looking shocked, asks if Patricia chose Luke instead of him. Mike growls that it feels great to be pushed aside by a twenty-year-old. Heather points out that he's got a lot more experience than Luke. Mike retorts that he hasn't in Patricia's eyes; the job of the year didn't last long, did it? Heather assures him that they'll work something out. They wander into the lounge room, where Heather suddenly spots an envelope resting on the coffee table. She picks it up. It's addressed 'To Mum and Dad'.

Jeff is sitting down in the corridor outside Luke's apartment when Luke comes along and asks him what he's doing there. Jeff explains that he's split from home. Luke asks why. Jeff tells him that his mum and dad have got enough hassles at the moment; they can do without him. Luke asks him if that's what his mum said. Jeff replies that he doesn't know - he snuck out. Luke asks how he thinks his parents will feel when they find out. Jeff retorts that it's alright - he left a note telling them he was coming there. Luke comments that he would say they'll be there pretty soon to pick him up. Jeff says he doubts it, after what he's done... He then asks Luke if he was just using him, like his dad said he was. Luke quickly assures him that of course he wasn't, and he asks Jeff if he reckons he'd do that to a mate. Jeff replies that of course he doesn't. Luke invites him in.

At the O'Briens', Heather cries that she didn't hear him go. Mike, though, points out that their son is a past master at sneaking off. Heather comments that at least they know where he's going this time. Mike suddenly screws up the note and snaps, "Big deal." He then asks angrily what sort of kid stabs his old man in the back like that - "'No, dad, I don't know a thing about that file...', 'No, dad, I'm off the grog for good...'." Heather suggests that they should go and see him. Mike, though, growls that he feels like washing his hands of him completely. He adds that, apart from the fact that he'd see Luke, he'd probably end up flattening his own son as well. He suggests to Heather that they leave it for tonight and got over there tomorrow, when he's calmed down a bit.

Wayne arrives at Fiona's apartment and Katie lets him in, remarking as she does so that he's early. Wayne replies that he never keeps a lady waiting! Katie smiles and says she bets he uses that line use on all the girls. Wayne says charmingly, "Only the special ones..." Katie asks him if he can hang on, as she just has to give her mum and dad a ring. She goes to the 'phone and starts dialling.

Heather and Mike are sitting at the dinner table, and Heather says she'd better clear the dishes. She stands up and the 'phone suddenly starts ringing. She goes and answers it, STD pips sound and she then says, "Hello?" Katie comes on, and Heather, sounding slightly distant, asks her how she is. Katie excitedly replies that everything's going terrifically. Heather just murmurs that that's good. Katie goes on that she's got a favour to ask: could Heather send her computer up? Looking surprised, Heather asks, "What for?" Katie explains that she's going to have to stay longer than expected; she needs it to work on. Heather comments that things must really be going well. Katie tells her that they are. Heather says she'll get onto it in the morning. She then adds that it'll be expensive, but Katie says she'll pay - she's already got an advance on her games. Heather doesn't really respond, and Katie asks her if she's OK. Heather asks, "Why shouldn't I be?" Katie asks how her dad is. Heather just replies that he's fine. Katie realises that something has happened, and Heather reluctantly explains that her father has decided to leave his job, and Jeff's got them a bit worried; it's nothing they can't handle, though; Katie's not to start worrying. Looking surprised, Katie asks why her dad gave up his job. Heather explains that he didn't see eye-to-eye with Patricia on a few things. Katie then asks if Jeff has been drinking again. Heather repeats that she told her everything will be fine - she's not to worry. Katie says she thinks she should come home straight away. At Fiona's, Wayne looks worried when he hears this. Heather, though, tells her daughter not to be silly - she should stay up there and keep working on her games. Katie insists that she really thinks she should be down there, but Heather tells her to be sensible. Katie gives in and says, "OK." Heather tells her that she'll have a courier pick up her computer in the morning. Katie thanks her. Heather then says she'll have to go now. Katie tells her that she'll talk to her later, and they both hang up. Wayne immediately asks Katie if something is wrong. Katie replies that it is, but she doesn't know what. Wayne asks her if she told her parents that she's seeing him. Katie tells him that she didn't. Wayne suggests to her that it might be best not to tell them at the moment. Katie asks why, and Wayne explains that she's their one and only daughter and she's running around with someone they don't know... he wouldn't want her to add to their worries. Katie says she's sure they'd like him. Wayne quickly smiles and tells her that that he's sure, too. He then asks why they don't go out and have some fun. Katie says she doesn't feel like it now, but Wayne tells her that it'll do her good; it'll save her worrying. Katie remarks that, at times like this, she wishes she had a place of her own. She goes on that she asked Fiona about a bedsit, but nothing has happened yet; sometimes she just likes to be by herself. She then adds that, still, after tomorrow, she'll have Fiona's place to herself, as Fiona is going to Woombai for a couple of days. Wayne smiles and tells her that it'll give them a bit more privacy...

In the lounge room at Toorak, Charlie tells Patricia that she's been on to Lisa and she'd be delighted do design something for the wedding; all she needs is an idea of the sort of thing Patricia would like - and of course, she'll also design something for the Matron of Honour... Patricia is staring into space, though, and doesn't respond, so Charlie quickly prompts, "You are having one?" Patricia comes back to reality and asks, "Having one what?" Charlie explains that she's talking about a Matron of Honour. She then tells Patricia to for goodness' sale stop thinking about Roger Carlyle; if he was going to call tonight, he would have done so by now. Patricia curtly points out that it's not that late in Perth - they're two hours behind Melbourne - and Charlie can go to bed if she doesn't want to stay up. Charlie mutters that she thinks she will - it's not much fun talking to yourself. She walks out. Patricia starts to pick up the cups on the coffee table, but the 'phone suddenly starts ringing and she hurries to answer it. STD pips sound and then Roger comes on. Patricia thanks him for calling back. Roger comments that she said it was urgent. Patricia explains that Mike O'Brien has resigned: he and Luke had a disagreement over the methods Luke used to beat the opposition and Mike said he wouldn't work with Luke anymore; there's no way she could fire Luke so she's afraid she had to let Mike go. She adds that she knows what the agreement with Roger was, but she didn't have any choice. Roger, though, tells her not to worry about it - it sounds fine to him: he's been waiting to get O'Brien back for turning Luke against him; he always intended to build him up and then chop him down when it was going to hurt the most; it just happened sooner than he expected, that's all. Patricia, looking surprised, says she thought he'd be quite angry about it. Roger assures her that he isn't at all. He then goes on that the other good thing to come out of it is that Luke must be starting to realise how ambitious he is. Patricia asks him if she still has his support. Roger replies, "One hundred per cent." Patricia says that's nice to know. She then adds that she'll keep in touch and she hangs up, a smile on her face.

A short time later, Charlie is back in the lounge room, wearing a facepack and with a towel wrapped round her hair. Patricia tells her that Roger just rang and everything's alright: he's on-side. Charlie smiles and says she is pleased for her - now maybe she can start thinking of important things, like who's going to be the Matron of Honour at the wedding. Patricia ignores this, though, and tells Charlie that something else came out of tonight: she's got the perfect reason to bring Jim down to Melbourne. Charlie raises her eyebrows and Patricia explains that she'll call him to say she's sorry she had to let Mike go, but he seemed to be having problems at home with his family and that seemed to be interfering with his work; she'll suggest that maybe there's some way he could help. Charlie smiles and comments that that sounds perfect to her. Patricia replies that she thinks so, too. Charlie heads off back upstairs to finish her facepack. As she walks out, Patricia says "Do you want to be my Matron of Honour?" Charlie turns back to look at her and, with a smile on her face, tells her that she thought she'd never ask! She adds that it's going to be a wonderful wedding!

The next morning, Mike is knocking furiously on the door of Luke's apartment. When there's no answer, he knocks again. Heather is standing next to him, and both look relieved when the door opens and Luke comes out. He curtly comments that he thought he'd see them sooner or later. Mike snaps that he's there to see Jeff. Luke, though, retorts that he doesn't think it's a good idea at the moment. Mike growls that he doesn't care about that, and he goes to walk into the apartment. Luke, though, stops him and pulls the door shut. He tells Mike that Jeff doesn't want to see him; they had a long talk last night and the guy is pretty down - the last thing he wants is to be hassled by his parents; he needs breathing space; they should keep away for a while; he can get Jeff off the grog; he thinks he can help him. Mike angrily yells that he was the one who put Jeff back on it. Luke retorts that that was only until he got the better of Karen Fox - then he was going to do everything he could to get Jeff to kick the habit. Mike snaps that it didn't matter what happened to Jeff in the meantime. Heather chips in to say they'd like to see him. Luke, though, says he's sorry but Jeff doesn't want to see them and he's not going home. Mike turns to Heather and suggests that they go; if Jeff doesn't want to see them, Mr. Smart Aleck there can put up with him for a while; they'll let him have all the lies and the worry and see how he likes it when he fails. Luke smirks, "But I won't." Mike snaps at him not to believe it. He tells Luke that for once in his life he'll see what it's like to come off second best. He and Heather then storm off.

Wayne walks into the lounge room at the Fisher house. Karen is sitting in there, working, and he comments that he thought he was going to have to make an appointment to see her. Karen curtly replies that there's been a lot to catch up on. Wayne asks how Melbourne was. Karen retorts that she didn't dob him into the O'Briens about giving Jeff drinking money - not that she's out to save his skin with Katie; she only went to Melbourne to save the company's future - they can't afford more muck-ups like the one's he's made lately; in fact, if he doesn't smarten up his act, she might have to pull her money out of the company altogether. Wayne, looking shocked, cries that she can't do that - Gordy would end up broke - and she'd lose too much money of her own. Karen, though, says she's not too worried about that - there's plenty more coming her way soon: Todd's grandfather set up a large trust fund for him, to mature when he was 25; the bulk of that will now come to her. Wayne, looking shocked, growls that the bloke is hardly dead and she's spending his money already - and she reckons she loved him. Karen retorts that she did love him; as far as the money is concerned, she's just being practical. Changing the subject, she thrusts a sheet of paper into Wayne's hand and tells him to 'phone the three people listed and try and drum-up some business for them. Wayne tells her that it'll have to wait until this afternoon, as he's meeting someone for lunch. Karen snaps that he'll have to stay late, then, won't he. She adds that she hopes he hasn't arranged dinner with his little girlfriend as well, as there's a lot to get through, and she'd hate her to think he'd kept her waiting. Wayne storms off. Jill comes into the room. She hands Karen some letters and says she's sorry they took so long, but the typewriter ribbon broke and it took ages to put a new one in. Karen, ignoring this, comments that Jill has met Katie O'Brien, hasn't she? Jill says, "Yes." Karen asks what she looks like. Suddenly looking wary, Jill says she's not getting involved in this. Karen suddenly snaps that, if she doesn't want to tell her, fine - she's going out for a while. Jill asks about Amanda, as she'll be there in a minute. Karen snaps that she won't be gone long - if Amanda arrives before she gets back, Jill's to give her Todd's letter. She hands an envelope to Jill and explains that Todd wrote it to Amanda just before he died. She then heads off, leaving Jill looking worried.

Katie is standing at the side of a road, in front of some shops. She suddenly starts walking down the road to where Wayne has pulled up. As she does so, she doesn't notice another car pulling up further down the road. Karen is the driver, and she watches Wayne and Katie as they kiss and then hug, an expression of annoyance on her face.

Fiona opens the door to her apartment and looks surprised to find Mitch standing there. She asks him what he's doing there so early. Mitch retorts that they're going to pick up Amanda, aren't they? Fiona tells him that they're not leaving for Woombai for a few hours yet. Mitch explains that he was actually hoping that they could have a talk before they left. Fiona asks, "What about?" Mitch tells her that he reckons she's been a bit unfair on him - he knows he did the wrong thing when he laid into Wayne, but he deserved it - and whatever Fiona thinks, he's right about Jill: she did a rotten thing to Terry. He pointedly adds, "He's your son." Fiona hands him a letter and tells him that he'd better read it. Mitch starts to do so, and Fiona explains that, in it, Terry says he now realises that he asked Jill to marry him for all the wrong reasons - mainly to gain access to Fee - and he says he also knows the marriage would never have worked and that he doesn't have any hard feelings against Jill. She then tells Mitch that she doesn't see why he should, either. After pausing a moment, she continues that, as they're having this little chat, she thinks she should mention Amanda. Mitch, a scowl on his face, asks, "What about her?" Fiona tells him that she knows how he feels about her, and if he's not careful, he's going to end up really hurt. She adds that Amanda only stood by him as a way to get back at Wayne - not for any romantic reason; she's still very much in love with Todd; Gordon and Barbara are worried about her because she seems so obsessed by him. She tells Mitch that if he cares for the girl, he should keep out of way - she doesn't need any more problems at this moment in time. Mitch mutters, "Sure... the last thing I want to do is upset her..."

Amanda is sitting reading Todd's letter at the Fisher house. Karen gets back, comes into the room and says, "Hello." She then apologises for not being there when Amanda arrived, explaining that something came up. She asks Amanda if she's alright. Amanda replies that she's so pleased Todd didn't suffer for long. Karen looks at her quizzically, and she explains that he says in his letter that his nurse is very understanding and is going to help him. Karen, something seeming to strike her, asks if Amanda would mind if she read the letter. Amanda hands it over and Karen starts going through it. After a couple of moments, she comments that it's no wonder Fisher was making such a fuss. Amanda asks, "What about?" but Karen quickly tells her that it's nothing important. She then asks what Todd means about a baby: is she pregnant to him? Amanda replies that she hopes so; having his child is the only thing she's got to look forward to now that he's gone. Karen says she can understand that - but if it doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world - Amanda is still young; she could fall in love-- Amanda interrupts and snaps that she's not going to fall in love again. Karen asks her how she knows; someone could-- Amanda suddenly snatches the letter and says she's got to get going. She goes on that she's going to keep the letter and hopefully read it to their child one day. Karen asks her if she can't stay for the coffee and sandwiches that Jill has just brought in, but Amanda retorts that Fiona and Mitch are waiting for her. She goes. Jill immediately comments to Karen that she's not herself, is she. Karen replies that she's upset about Todd, too, but she's not letting it affect her the way Amanda is; the girl will have to pull herself together somehow.

It's early-evening, and Fiona, Amanda, Mitch and Alan Pascoe walk into Woombai, Fiona exclaiming as she does so, "Smell the paint!" Alan tells her that he was hoping she wouldn't be able to. Fiona, though, assures him that the place looks lovely - not nearly as dreary as it was before. She asks Amanda what she thinks, and she replies that she likes it. Alan says to Mitch that he hears he's a mechanic, Mitch tells him that that's right. Alan asks him if he's any good. Mitch retorts that he thinks so. Alan then tells him that he'll show him round in the morning, but he'll take him up now to the bloke's quarters, and see if he can get him a bunk. Amanda says to Mitch that she hopes she gets to see bit more of him before she goes back to Sydney. Mitch tells her that she sure will - if she feels up to it. Alan tells Fiona that the Hansens called - they'd like her to have tea with them tonight, if she feels up to it. He and Mitch then go. Fiona asks Amanda why she doesn't come with her to the Hansens', but Amanda says she'd rather not - she's got a bit of a headache; she'd rather have an early night. Fiona says she'll get freshened up and get herself organised, and she heads to her bedroom. As soon as she's gone, Amanda walks over to the 'phone, looks around cautiously and then dials a number. The call is answered by a man saying, "Men's quarters." Amanda tells him her name and explains that she wants to leave a message for Bob Mitchell - he's on his way over there now: can the man ask him when he's unpacked his gear to come back and have dinner with her? The man says he'll pass it on. Amanda smiles.

There's a knock on the door of Fiona's apartment, and Katie looks at her watch and smiles. As she goes to answer it, she calls out to Wayne that he's making a habit of getting there early, isn't he. She opens the door and looks surprised to find that it isn't Wayne standing there. The woman who is there tells Katie that they've never met. She adds, "My name is Karen Fox."

A few moments later, Karen explains that she was looking for Irene Fisher and one of the tenants suggested she try there. Karen says she's sorry, but Irene is still overseas. Karen 'realises' that she means for Todd's funeral, and she then adds that she thought she'd be back by now; she wanted to know how it went. Katie tells her that she'll let Irene know she called. Karen says to her, "You're...?" Katie introduces herself, and Karen muses, "I see..." Katie says she supposes Wayne has told Karen all about her. Karen agrees that he's mentioned her once or twice. Katie goes on that Karen and Wayne were close once, weren't they? Karen, though, retorts that Wayne would like her to believe they were- he has a very good way of twisting the truth to suit his own ends - but they just saw a bit of each other for a while, and as soon as she realised that he was only after one thing, she called a halt to it. She then tells Katie to tell Irene that they'll talk when she gets back. She goes, leaving Katie looking surprised and thoughtful.

Heather and Mike are sitting at the dinner table at the O'Briens', and, as they stare at their still half-full plates, Heather comments that she shouldn't have done so many vegetables. Mike says he's sorry, but he's not very hungry. Heather remarks that she can see that Jeff isn't there: there wouldn't be anything left over then. She adds that, still, a few days with Luke should give him time to think things over and then maybe he'll want to come home. She then goes on that, if Mike was honest about the job, maybe he's better off not working for Patricia - the hours were ridiculous and he was having doubts about whether he could cope with it. Mike, though, points out that it doesn't change the fact that he doesn't have a job; he's got to do the rounds again, but he doesn't think he can take it right now. Heather points out that there's not much he can do about it. Mike suddenly comments that they've got a bit of money in the bank, so why don't they take a holiday? Looking surprised, Heather tells him that that's the last thing they should be spending it on. Mike, though, says he feels the need to get away for a while. He asks her, "How about it?" Heather agrees, "Why not?" She then adds that they'd better tell Katie. Mike muses, "Katie... at least she's OK."

Wayne is sitting next to Katie on the couch at Fiona's. He comments to her that Fiona couldn't have timed it more perfectly - he hopes she's away for weeks. He puts his arm around her and goes to kiss her, but Katie moves away and, looking surprised, he asks what's wrong. Katie just murmurs, "Nothing." Wayne tells her to come on, but Katie retorts that just she doesn't feel like it; it's like he's only there for one thing. Wayne tells her that he's sorry, but after the last few days, he thought she was pretty keen too. He asks her what made her change her mind. Katie retorts that she just doesn't like being rushed, that's all. Changing the subject, she says she'll make some more coffee. Wayne, though, tells her not to bother - it's been a lousy day and he's pretty tired; can they call it a night? He gets up and walks over to the door, and Katie says that's fine by her. Wayne thanks her for the meal and tells her that he'll call her in the morning. He goes. Katie shuts the door behind him, a look of frustration on her face.

At Woombai, Amanda is sitting next to Mitch on the couch, and she tells him that she's glad he could come over to dinner with her tonight. Mitch replies that he is, too. Amanda goes on that they're really both in the same situation at the moment: they're both on their own. She adds that, regardless of what he told her Fiona thinks, they've got a lot in common. Mitch says he knows. Amanda tells him that Fiona doesn't understand her the way he does; it's pretty lonely being by herself. Mitch sourly comments that he had a few years of practice at that himself. Amanda quickly says she's sorry, but Mitch tells her not to be - he knows how she's feeling. Amanda says that, sometimes, she thinks she's going crazy. Mitch tells her that that's why it's important to have someone who really understands. Amanda suddenly leans towards him and says, "Just hold me for a minute." Mitch puts his arm round her and she leans her head on his body. Mitch says, "That's better." Amanda looks up and stares into his eyes, and the two of them then move their lips towards each other and start kissing passionately. When they pull apart, Amanda rests her head on Mitch's chest again, a look of both worry and guilt on her face.


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